Manchester United have reportedly joined Liverpool in pursuit of prolific Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe, who is valued at £60 million by LOSC Lille.
As per a report by Daily Express, Manchester United have joined a long list of suitors that will be chasing the signature of Nicolas Pepe in the summer transfer window. The Ivory Coast international, who will cost around £60 million, is also being pursued by Liverpool, in addition to Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and PSG.
Nicolas Pepe is currently in his second season with Lille and he has been quite an anomaly to the infamous “second season syndrome”. Having been promising in his maiden campaign with Les Dogues, the 23-year-old has taken French football by storm this term.
Pepe has a fantastic tally of 20 goals and 12 assists in 36 appearances across all competitions so far. 19 of those goals have been scored in Ligue 1, with only Kylian Mbappe (30) finding the back of the net more often than him this season. And, having inspired Lille to second on the Ligue 1 table thus far, the player has found admirers in Manchester United and Liverpool.
At Manchester United, the long-standing Achilles Heel has been the right wing slot, with no player managing to make a sustained impact on the flank over the last half-a-decade or so. And so, Pepe is a viable target to pursue for the Red Devils, although they see him as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford lately.
Pepe does have the ability to play as a central striker, having reprised the role this season as well and his prolific nature in front of goal would potentially make him an asset for Manchester United. The interest from Liverpool, on the other hand, comes as a bit of a surprise.
The Reds have one of the best attacking units across Europe, and while it is true that the backup options, apart from Xherdan Shaqiri, do not inspire much confidence, it is hard to see why Pepe would leave Lille to have a game-sharing role. Nevertheless, Liverpool’s incredible attacking unit could be boosted further by the addition of the 23-year-old.
In addition to Manchester United and Liverpool, the likes of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, PSG, Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with the prolific winger, thus setting up a transfer war in his pursuit. And, despite the player having a £60 million price tag, several of the suitors should remain firmly in the race to sign him.
The race to sign Nicolas Pepe continues to heat up, with Manchester United the latest club to be eyeing up a move for him. It now remains to be seen if the Red Devils can win in the £60 million pursuit of the winger, although without Champions League football on offer, it will be interesting to see if they can secure his services.